IOTW: Russian hackers launched a DDoS attack on NATO sites

A Russian hacktivist organization launched a number of distributed denial of service (DDoS) operations against NATO, disrupting the response of search and rescue teams in Turkey and Syria.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been the target of a series of distributed denial of service (DDoS) assaults, forcing several of its websites to be temporarily unavailable.

The DDoS assaults have been linked to the Russian hacktivist organization Killnet, which announced plans to conduct attacks against NATO via an encrypted channel on the social media platform Telegram. The organization also looked to be soliciting bitcoin payments in order to execute further assaults.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stolberg stated that preventative measures had been implemented in reaction to the incident.

The DDoS assault had no effect on NATO’s classified networks, which are used to communicate inside its command structure and on current missions, according to Stolberg. He also added that “the bulk of NATO websites were running as usual” and that the organization’s technical experts were “trying to restore full access”.

Despite Stolberg’s assertions that the network remained unaffected, it has been alleged that the attack disrupted communications between NATO and its Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC). The SAC was utilized in NATO’s reaction to the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey on February 6 and its associated aftershocks, with an aircraft flying search and rescue crews and their equipment to a Turkish airbase. While it did not completely lose communication with the jet, the SAC’s ability to communicate with it was purportedly hampered by network interruption.

What are hacktivists?

Hacktivists, also known as hacktivism, are hackers who are motivated by their political beliefs rather than monetary gain. Hacktivists exploited disruptive threat vectors such as DDoS assaults to take websites or services offline in order to propagate their ideology or make political statements.

Hacktivists may also collect sensitive or humiliating information about political opponents and post it online, a practice known as doxxing.